Government

Biden postpones trip to North Carolina

October 18, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Vice President Joe Biden's planned trip to North Carolina next week has been postponed, according to a spokesman. Biden was scheduled to speak at a Durham fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. It is not known when the event will be re-scheduled.

Sen. Rand Paul endorses Brannon for U.S. Senate

October 17, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a national tea party movement leader, endorsed Greg Brannon for U.S. Senate, providing a boost to the candidate's campaign. Brannon will face House Speaker Thom Tillis and Charlotte pastor Mark Harris in the Republican primary. A fourth candidate, Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant, has filed to run but has not been actively campaigning.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson will not seek a fifth term

October 16, 2013

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Republican Rep. Ruth Samuelson said she will not run for re-election in 2014. Samuelson, who was thought to be a top contender for House speaker, plans to pursue business opportunities and spend more time with her family and faith community.

Smokies to reopen for five days

October 16, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina and Tennessee are contributing money to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for five days during the busy fall tourism period. The park, closed since the partial government shutdown began over two weeks ago, will be open today through Sunday. North Carolina's $75,000 share will come from tourism advertising dollars.

State's bond rating may be downgraded if US defaults

October 16, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

According to state Treasurer Janet Cowell, the partial government shutdown and potential default could hurt the federal government's bond rating and the effect could ripple down to the state level. Cowell said the large military presence here and dependence on federal funds could affect the state's AAA-bond rating.

New Hanover County spent $68,000 in failed effort to remove commissioner

October 16, 2013

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover County spent nearly $68,000 in legal fees in its failed attempt to remove Commissioner Brian Berger from the board earlier this year. The commissioners voted to remove Berger in May, but when he appealed the decision to the N.C. Superior Court they hired a Greenville lawyer to defend the county. The court reinstated Berger in September. 

State suspends welfare program as federal funds dry up

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina has halted its Work First welfare program because of the government shutdown. The Department of Health and Human Services has directed county social service directors to stop processing new applications and recertifications for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program as funding is expected to run out soon.

Food banks receive state government donations

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday he is releasing $750,000 from a $3 million appropriation for food banks to be distributed to seven regional food banks. The North Carolina Attorney General's office also will contribute $2 million to statewide food banks, which have experienced increased demand due to the federal government shutdown.

About 500,000 "too poor" for health insurance without Medicaid expansion

October 14, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

About 500,000 North Carolina residents earning less than 100 percent of the poverty level will not qualify for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The plan was written under the assumption that group would receive benefits through the Medicaid expansion, which was rejected by North Carolina along with 25 other states.

State unemployment agency lays off 353

October 14, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A $25 million reduction in state and federal funding led the state agency that provides support to job seekers to lay off 353 workers over the past several months. The N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions spread out the layoffs between May and September to lessen the impact.